We have all been working pretty hard here at the Fire Basket. Despite being our “quiet” season we have barely stopped. As well as our family run showroom, we also have a brilliant team of fitters, plasterers, delivery people and IT personnel (well Andy who fixes the computers when we break them!). It seemed only right that we reward our hardworking staff with something special. And what could be better than Gold? Thatcher’s Gold. So off we went to Myrtle Farm in Sanford for a tour round the Thatchers Factory.
The first thing that struck us was the size of the place. We only glimpsed a few of the hundreds of acres of orchards but boy those beautiful Katy apples looked delicious! We saw more empty cans than you can imagine and watched how they were filled and packaged. We looked at the huge bays where the apples look like Skittles falling into a shoe box and watched a video showing their rigorous procedures for testing the quality of the apples. We saw the enormous presses and even bigger vats where the juice was stored. We were all very impressed with the oak barrels over 150 years old that were taller than a house.
Phil who showed us round answered all our burning questions and made the whole experience one to remember. We were delighted to hear anecdotes about the 4 generations of the Thatchers family and learn about how the business had grown in the last 15 years.
After we had seen how it was all made the tasting at the end was all the more special. We all knew about the different types of apples that were used and how the process differed between the “Katy Cider” and the “Vintage”. We all picked our favourites, “Old Rascal” and “Stan’s Leaf Twister” were up there.
To finish the evening we all enjoyed a superb meal with a few more ciders at the Railway Inn where the staff were so welcoming and attentive. Then it was back on the mini bus and back into work the next day where we were all completely clear headed - not in a “Haze” at all!